Strategies For Starting Off Right
1. Define Your Challenge
Write down your ultimate physique goal and how you’d like to look. Include weight, body fat, and any physique improvements you’d like to see. Now divide it by 3. That’s roughly your 90-day goal—to get you a third of the way there.
Work up to 60 minutes of physical activity each day. That doesn’t mean you’ll be on the weight-room floor seven days a week, but strive to get some kind of activity—even if it’s a walk with your dog or a leisurely bike ride. Take advantage of great weather when it happens by taking your workouts outdoors. If you’re new to fitness, start with two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions to help you become acclimated.
3. Discover What You Enjoy
Weights are one of the best ways to make significant physical changes to your body. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys lifting. The most important determinant of long-term success with fitness is how much you enjoy an activity. Choose something that make fitness fun! Explore new exercise classes and activities to determine which you prefer. As a beginner, almost anything you choose will be challenging, but gains will be made starting your very first week.
4. Don’t Go It Alone
Train with a friend who’s at about your level of ability and has similar goals. You’ll be far less likely to skip your workout when you know someone is depending on you. It’s also more motivating when you push each other, and you’ll be far less likely to cut your sessions short.
5. Be Around People Whose Goals Align With Yours
Friends can help in other ways too. Surround yourself with five new friends at the office, school, or in your personal life who are committed to health and fitness. People who choose healthy lifestyles will engage in behaviors that will rub off on you. Similarly, if your friends are just the opposite, they’ll likely reinforce the wrong kinds of behaviors.
6. Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others
Instead, compare yourself to you of last week. If you make every week better in some way than the preceding week, you’re moving forward and making progress. Aim to improve yourself 5-10 percent versus last year’s version of you. It’s hard for any of us to feel good about ourselves when we try to measure up to physique athletes who may have been training for a decade or more. What these champions have in common with you is that they decided to improve their fitness one day, and then came back for a second, and kept going.
7. Read To Get Motivated And Learn
An easy way to get inspired and increase your knowledge of fitness, training, and nutrition is to commit to reading one online fitness article each day. Thousands of such articles cover a huge number of areas on this site alone! You won’t know everything there is to know in a week, but knowing a little more every day helps you better understand the what, why, and how of what you’re doing. Here’s a starter’s guide to fitness terms that’ll help you find your way around the gym. Just be aware there’s a ton of garbage advice available on the Web, so stick to sites you trust.
8. Embrace Physical Challenges Outside Your Comfort Zone
We all want to live comfortably, but workouts produce the best results when they make a little—or even more than a little—uncomfortable. Your body adapts to changes when you ask more of it than it’s used to giving. To make improvements, you must push just outside your comfort zone. Adjust your mindset to seek greater challenges over time, and you’ll see your body respond.
9. Don’t Rush To Self-Judge
Many individuals will drop out of their training program because they’re not seeing results fast enough. However, physiological adaptations occur incrementally. You most likely won’t see much—if any—improvement from one week to the next, but you surely will over 90 days. That’s why you should make an iron-clad commitment of at least three months when starting any exercise program. Only then should you compare before-and-after pictures and measurements.
10. Enter A 90-Day Transformation Contest
Want to see the greatest changes in your physique possible? Dive into a transformation contest! Don’t do it for the money; do it for the personal challenge. Going all-in and attaching a deadline provides daily motivation that can become self-perpetuating. Countless people have used this method to achieve incredible results, and so can you! Our site offers transformation contests every year for individuals of all levels, which you can find more about here.